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Main » 2014 » November » 3 » “Wooden Doors” Operation Foils a Bid to Smuggle 4.5m Narcotic Pills in Al Ain
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“Wooden Doors” Operation Foils a Bid to Smuggle 4.5m Narcotic Pills in Al Ain

Under Close Supervision by HH Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - Thursday, October 30th 2014 [ME NewsWire]

Borshid: Pills were Stuffed and Concealed in the frames of 36 Wooden Doors
Security Intelligence Provided by Kuwait Contributed to Thwarting the Operation and Arresting the Gang

Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior followed up on the unfolding developments of the operation called “Wooden Doors”, which led to a successful drug bust, during which 4.5 million narcotic pills were seized in Al Ain, of which 11.750 in Dubai. The drug bust was a collaborative effort by a joint team of professional anti-narcotic officers from the Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai Police and the Ministry of Interior. Moreover, crucial intelligence provided by the sisterly country of Kuwait allowed the team to arrest the perpetrators.

The details of the operation, which is regarded as one of the biggest drug bust at the countrywide level, were followed up closely and with great interest by His Highness Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

His Highness reiterated the unwavering objectives of the UAE strategy aimed at fighting all forms of crime, wherever they may be, particularly its zero tolerance policy against drugs and the commitment to fighting the spread of these poisonous substances. This falls in line with the UAE’s keenness to promote security, safety, community tranquility; maintain the national gains and achievements; and protect national wealth and youth.

His Highness lauded the strong and deep-rooted relations between the UAE and its partners, especially the GCC countries that cooperate within the framework of a joint force to curtail the spread of drugs. His Highness said, “These relations are based on a clear methodology and unified strategies, insights and joint action in order to provide effective plans to address all types of crime at the local and regional levels.”

Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, unveiled the details of the operation. “The Abu Dhabi Police recently managed to thwart an attempt to smuggle 4.5 million narcotic pills and arrest the gang, which consists of 4 individuals (three Arabs and one Gulf national). The value of the seized narcotics, which were stashed in a warehouse and a house in Al Ain, was pegged at a quarter of a billion dirhams, and were intended to be trafficked to another country”.

Adding further, Colonel Borshid indicated that intelligence forwarded by the Kuwaiti authorities to the Anti-Narcotics Federal Department at the UAE Ministry of Interior, contributed to seizing the drug shipment smuggled into the country through an airport, coming from an Arab country in the Middle East.

“Subsequent and immediate investigations indicated that the narcotic pills were shipped to one of the perpetrators. They were stashed in a professional and innovative way in as many as 108 transverse sections of 36 wooden door frames,” explained Colonel Borshid.

The Head of the Criminal Investigation Department  added that the Anti-narcotic officers managed to arrest the four members of the gang, two of whom were in Al Ain (Two Arabs), and two others in Dubai (one Arab and one Gulf national), following a well-thought operation that included evidence gathering , secret investigations and extensive surveillance. The anti-narcotics team found and seized the pills, which were hidden in secret caches in Al Ain; with another 11.750 pills seized in Dubai.

Colonel Borshid commended the valuable intelligence provided by the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior in coordination with the Kuwaiti authorities, has helped to uncover the drug smuggling bid. “During interrogation, the gang members confessed to trying to smuggle the pills to another country. Investigation is still underway to uncover the circumstances of the operation,” he added.

The “Wooden Doors” operation was an unconventional operational and required several stages of joint security work. It entailed analyzing the received intelligence, identifying the suspects, in addition to other highly confidential security measures. Ultimately, a joint work team was formed by anti-narcotics officers from Abu Dhabi, Dubai Police and the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior.

He also explained that despite the difficulties surrounding the operation and the extreme caution, the Anti-Drug section team managed to foil the attempt, using their extensive field experience and skills to act efficiently without arousing the suspects’ suspicions.

He valued the distinguished role played by the work team that took part in the operation and expressed admiration for the competence, efforts and extensive expertise of the anti-narcotics personnel on the local and federal levels. He also praised the efficient international security cooperation that contributed to dealing a serious blow to drug traffickers and their criminal activities.

Colonel Borshid reiterated his call to members of the public to not hesitate to report any suspicious activities and to cooperate with the anti-drugs units, which will take all necessary measures in accordance with the UAE laws that guarantee the protection of the public from any legal accountability as a result of their cooperation.

Additionally, he noted that local and international drug trafficking represents a major security concern for anti-narcotics authorities and requires concerted efforts and joint coordination. “The Abu Dhabi Police is committed to strengthening cooperation in this field to enhance safety and security levels,” Colonel Borshid asserted.

Federal Efforts

For his part, Colonel Saeed Abdullah Al Suwaidi, Director General, Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General at the Ministry of Interior, thanked the federal and local work teams for their valuable cooperation and efficient sincere efforts. He also lauded the professional skills demonstrated by all those who took part in the operation, and the extremely useful information they provided to ensure the success of the operation.

He also cited the leading role of the police leadership in the fight against the drug scourge. “In our capacity as an anti-narcotics entity, we are committed to providing the necessary support to the competent police authorities to curtail drug peddling and trafficking,” said Colonel Al Suwaidi;  commending the unwavering efforts exerted by the MoI to fight drugs and acquaint people with its risks.

Colonel Al Suwaidi noted that the Anti-Narcotics Federal Directorate General has unified work teams that work round the clock to nab drug peddlers. These teams establish the necessary plans and traps, based on collaborative work on the federal level, to arrest criminals red-handed.

He also stressed that the MoI is endeavoring adamant on reinforcing its strategic partnership with inspection authorities operating at the various country’s ports, in order to develop their action plans and work mechanisms to curtail smuggling attempts into the UAE.

Furthermore, Colonel Al Suwaidi commended the joint collaborative efforts with Gulf States, particularly the sisterly state of Kuwait, for its distinguished role that contributed to spurring this massive drug bust. He also noted that thanks to the security information received, and the quick response to track the poisonous narcotics, the joint professional anti-narcotics team from Abu Dhabi Police and Dubai Police, operating under the umbrella of the MoI managed to foil the attempt to smuggle the drugs to another country, and to nab the criminals involved.

Adding further, Colonel Al Suwaidi said, “Such a whopping amount of drugs would have destroyed society and ruined the lives of thousands of innocent people, both emotionally and financially if the perpetrators had succeeded in their attempt. But the vigilance of the anti-narcotics teams and the close-knit regional cooperation contributed to foiling these criminal activities.”

In conclusion, Colonel Al Suwaidi stressed the importance of fostering cooperation and coordination with the brotherly GCC countries in the fight against this dangerous scourge. “We are a bound with GCC countries by historical ties and a common destiny; therefore, all police authorities should work to protect the values of fraternity and maintain security and stability,” he said. He also stressed that all anti-narcotics authorities in GCC countries work conjointly to confront all forms and aspects of crime.

Case details

For his part, Colonel Sultan Suwayeh Al Darmaki, Chief of the Anti-Drug Section at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who was the field commander, said, “The operation was characterized by a high-level of performance shown by the anti-drugs team that arrested the gang members and seized the drugs. It also featured strict security procedures.”

Elaborating on the case, Colonel Al Darmaki noted that the first suspect, a 32-year old truck driver, identified as A.A.A,  received the drug shipment that through an export/import office in one of the country’s emirates. The drugs were concealed within the unassembled transverse sections of 36 wooden door frames.”

Colonel Al Darmaki added: “Thanks to their highly-developed security sense and technical and field skills, the anti-narcotics team managed to locate the first drug stash, hidden in a big warehouse in Al Ain. The careful and discrete stakeout operation indicated a possible second hideout for the gang.”

“The first suspect, A.A.A, accompanied by the second suspect, a 36-year-old truck driver identified as F.N.A, transferred a big number of door frames to a house in ‘Al Shabia’ neighborhood in Al Ain City. This prompted the team to place both the warehouse and the residence under surveillance.”

“When we sensed that the drugs are being sorted, we raided the house, under high security measures to avert any potential emergency. We caught the suspects red-handed, as they were dismantling door frames, recovering the concealed drug pills and placing them in travel bags,” Colonel Al Darmaki explained.

Colonel Al Darmaki added, “The suspects were taken by surprise. The seized shipment consisted of 3 travel bags filled with pills; we also confiscated as many as 60 transverse sections of 20 doors where the drugs were stashed. The team also raided the warehouse, where they discovered 48 transverse sections of 16 doors, containing the poisonous drugs, stashed in the same manner. A total of 16 travel bags filled with narcotic pills were confiscated in the operation.”

During interrogation, the two suspects revealed the identity of their accomplices; an Arab citizen living abroad and running the operations; and a third suspect, another Arab citizen, who was supposed to receive the drug shipment in Dubai. The team set a trap and contacted the third accomplice through the arrested suspects, under tight security supervision.  A delivery date was agreed upon.”

Colonel Al Darmaki continued: “In light of this information, we carried out a number of investigations and coordinated with the General Department of Anti-Narcotics at the Dubai Police, and we formed a team. The third suspect, a 26-year old investor identified as A.M.Kh, asked to receive the shipment in the parking lot of an amusement park in Dubai. He was cautious and tried to not arouse any suspicions.”

Adding further, he said, “Upon delivery, the third suspect was arrested with another accomplice; an unemployed 36-year-old GCC national, identified as Kh.M.A. During interrogation, they both confessed to being involved and to having another 11.750 narcotic pills hidden in a location in Dubai. The drugs were confiscated and interrogations are still underway with all suspects.”

In conclusion, Colonel Al Darmaki praised the security coordination efforts between the Ministry of Interior and Dubai Police as well as the highly-professional manner of handling the intelligence received. “We have ongoing collaboration with international authorities to closely monitor smuggling routes and arrest the main suspect who lives abroad and still at large. The anti-drug officers have demonstrated a great deal of expertise in handling and arresting criminals who sell such poisonous drugs,” he said.

Furthermore, Colonel Al Darmaki said: “The Abu Dhabi Police is keen to cooperate with concerned authorities, to fight the drug scourge and protect both the country and community members. They are also endeavoring to counter all attempts to smuggle and promote drugs, no matter how innovative they are. These efforts fall in line with their comprehensive strategy to integrate all efforts aimed at eradicating this illegal trade and prevent drug-related risks.”

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Abu Dhabi Police, please click HERE

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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.


The UAE Minister of Interior's General Secretariat, Tactical Affairs and Security Media Department

Abu Dhabi Police GHQ - Security Media

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